Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New Movements and Ecclesial Communities

On Pentecost weekend, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI met with representatives from various New Movements and Ecclesial Communities from throughout the universal Church. His comments to them are most interesting. I have selected some of the most salient, which together point to a theme in Benedict’s approach to these communities, and to the Church as a whole. I offer my own reflections as well.
The Holy Father sees the Church as a “symphony” toward which all the various groups and elements within the Church contribute. Most important is that the communities and movements serve and are united to the divinely instituted hierarchy of the Church, the pope, bishops, and priests. The Holy Father called the movements and communities to offer their talents, charisms, and gifts from God to the building up of the one Church. There is to be no division among the Body of Christ, as Paul teaches in First Corinthians.
The Holy Spirit inspires new elements in the Church but the same Spirit first inspired the Apostles and their successors. All the members of the hierarchy and the laity are called to work in unison to fulfill the one mission of the Church. Movements and communities are not to take the work of the Church into their own hands, or carry on a mission of their own. They exist to collaborate with the mission of the pope and the pastors. They are not to work outside the bishops and priests, even if they think the work of the pastors is insufficient.
New movements and communities can offer tremendous gifts to the Church. They do so best when they offer their gifts to the whole Church, and collaborate with the Church’s pastors.

Pope Benedict on “New Movements and Ecclesial Communities”

“And you will not fail to take your gifts to the whole community.”

“In him [Christ] multiplicity and unity go together…He breathes where he wills. He does so in an unexpected way, in unexpected places, and in ways that had never before been imagined.”

“Multiformity and unity are inseparable.”

“The Holy Spirit desires your multiformity, and wants you for the one body, in union with the lasting orders – the joints – of the Church, with the successors of the apostles, and with the Successor of St. Peter.”

“…be even more, much more, collaborators in the Pope’s universal apostolic ministry, opening the doors to Christ.”

“The whole Church…is only one great movement, animated by the Holy Spirit…”

To stay together was the condition Jesus placed to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; the premise of their harmony was prolonged prayer.”

Archbishop Rylko’s Comments

“For Benedict XVI there is no opposition between the ‘hierarchical’ Church and a ‘charismatic’ Church.”

“The appropriate theological placement of movements in the Church must be found in apostolicity, the dimension from which arises the particular bond that unites them to the ministry of the Successor of Peter.”

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